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January 2007

Top 10 Superfoods - The Best Foods For A Healthy Lifestyle

By Chef George Krumov

My Top 10 Superfoods is a list of foods that I actually eat everyday. At least 5 of them are in my diet each and every day. I believe that these foods make me younger, protect me from diseases and give me the strength to work a very stressful job, sometimes requiring working on my feet for 15 hours straight without having a break. Almost all the xfoods from the good list are alkaline, while the foods from the bad list are acidic. You have probably heard that maintaining a slightly alkaline PH level of you blood is very advantageous in the fight against cancer.

The 10 foods from my list are all cheap and easy to find in every grocery store. However, it is not enough to just eat the top 10 superfoods from the list to start feeling as though you are 19 again. You have to make some changes to your lifestyle accordingly, and also avoid the Top 10 Antifoods from the bottom of this page.

So, here it goes:

1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil - The thing that makes the olive oil my choice to be on top of my list is that beside its great healthy benefits, it is very tasty as well. The extra virgin olive oil is the only type of fat I use at home. I use it for everything - salads, pastas, frying and sauteing my vegetables. I never use any other kind of oil, butter or margarine. In my own food pyramid the olive oil is not even a fat, it is an elixir.
2. Yogurt - the live culture in the yogurt can do miracles to help your body getting rid of the free radicals. The best kind is the plain organic yogurt.
3. Coconut Oil - Rancidity is the result of oxidation of oils during rapid heating, and can cause considerable damage within the human body. This is one of the drawbacks of processed polyunsaturated fats, which include the most readily available kind of oil in grocery stores. The value of coconut oil is in its total lack of rancidity outside and inside the body, as well as its numerous health benefits. Coconut oil is also reported to protect against viral infections in the winter.
4. Vegetable Juice - Vegetable juice is my choice when it comes to juices. It is much healthier than orange juice. The vegetable juice helps keep your blood PH to a healthy level. I am talking about the freshly squeezed vegetable juice from carrots, celery, peppers, beets, etc, and not the vegetable juice that you can find in grocery stores.
5. Tomatoes - A recent study found that the licopene in the tomatoes may be twice more powerful antioxidant than the better known betacarotene. And besides, they go very well with the number 1 from my top 10 list - the olive oil.
6. Blueberries - The blueberries have very powerful natural antioxidants. Considering how cheap and tasty they are during their season, there just isn't anything better on the market.
7. Dark Chocolate - It contains powerful antioxidants, minerals and can help your mood. However, you should only buy dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa content. It is the cocoa that gives you these great health benefits.
8. Apples - You have probably heard the saying "One apple a day will keep the doctor away", or something like that. Up to date I haven't found any evidence of the opposite, so I still believe it.
9. Honey - Honey is the only sweetener that I keep at home. I don't even have sugar. I drink my coffee and herbal tea unsweetened 99% of the time, however, whenever I need a sweetener I use honey. The best honey for your health is the raw honey, because it contains all the enzimes from the bees.
10. Watermelon - There is nothing more refreshing in the summer than a big slice of cold watermelon. It just helps flush your body from the toxins and replaces your body fluids better than the colored sugary water sold in convenience stores and called.... you know how.

OK....I know, there is not even one protein in the list. So, here it comes as number eleven:
11. Seafood - The health benefits of eating fish and other seafood are much greater than eating chicken and beef. It contains healthy fatty acids and vitamin E, which is a strong antioxidant. Smaller types of fish and seafood such as scallops and shrimp are generally considered as more healthy than big types of fish. Eating raw wild salmon is also an excellent choice for good health.

And after my top 10 superfoods, here are my top 10 Antifoods. These are the foods that are completely out of my diet. If you see me in a grocery store, I'm one of those guys that reads every label to make sure everything is ok.

1. Margarine - It is not one of the healthiest fats because of the trans-fats content.
2. Sugar - The sugar delivers to you only "empty" calories. However I do not recommend the artificial sweeteners for other reasons. The only sweetener that I recommend is honey, which made my Top 10 at number 9.
3. Processed meats such as bologna, salami, hot dogs, etc. - Don't eat something you don't know what it is made of. One study estimates that over 70% of all processed foods have GMO (genetically modified organisms) in them.
4. Cream - Cream has a lot of fat. I don't like pastas with cream sauce such as Alfredo because they are huge calory bombs. When I buy ice-cream I actually choose the one that reads "ice milk bars" instead. They taste better and are significantly lower on fat.
5. TV dinners - this frozen, pre-packed food has the same amount of fat as proteins in it. The other day I checked the label of one tv dinner and it read: protein - 28 gr.; fat - 27 gr.
6. Donuts - this is not food, this is heart attack disguised as a food.
7. Pop and sweetened juices - They are even worse than sugar. Pop is usually made with filtered tap water that contains fluoride. Fluoride can't be removed by filtering. I don't know if fluoride is good for your teeth and I don't really care. All I know is that I don't want to be medicated without my permission, so I only drink and cook with bottled water, after I have checked that it doesn't contain fluoride. I am not a scientist and can't tell you what to do, but just do your own research. So far I have not found even one piece of information to prove that fluoride is good. Also, avoid pop made with artificial sweeteners.
8. Hamburgers - If you are leading otherwise healthy lifestyle you can get away with one or two burgers a week (without the fries), however, don't make them your regular food. A six-ounce pork loin chop with some steamed broccoli is a much better lunch than a burger.
9. Store-bought salad dressings - These are full of preservatives and fat, simply disgusting.
10. Shortening - Shortening is used in the production of antifood number 6, the donuts, also cookies, some cakes and even for deep-frying in some restaurants. Many customers have asked me what oil we use for deep frying, because they don't want shortening.

And there is one very dangerous ingredient that you shoud avoid - MSG (monosodium glutamate). It is not food, it is neurotoxin. It makes the part of your brain responsible for taste send signals to your taste buds that what you are eating is very tasty. It can destroy your health in many different ways, and one of them is going to make you fat.

Chef George Krumov
About the author: George Krumov is a Red Seal certified chef with many years of culinary experience working around the world in Europe, the Middle East, the cruise line industry and North America. In the last two decades he has headed the kitchens of several restaurants in Canada, and ran his own restaurant.

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